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Firearms Files
..303 Rifle
.4-bore Part I
.4-bore Part II
.35 Whelen in Zim
..375 on Elephant
.It's All in the Claw
.Solids v. Mono
.Stopping Power
.FN SLR Rifle
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The .303 Rifle
In a previous issue we looked at the fascinating history behind the development of the .303 cartridge, and now it is time to take a look at the equally fascinating array of rifles which were made to fire it.

Return of the 4-bore Part I
This story has its beginnings in another century when Big Double Rifles firing huge lead bullets were more common in the African bush. It was these famous stories read in my younger impressionable years and a love of gun-making that planted the idea to build one of these great rifles.

Return of the 4-bore Part II
On the third morning, as the sun’s red ball started to show through the thorns, the Cesna’s wheels lifted from the strip and we were over the Limpopo river headed north. After a pleasant three hour flight, we touched down at Vic Falls to clear Zimbabwe customs then a 25 minute flight to Matetsi Unit One camp - our home for the next 16 days.

FN SLR Rifle
Rejoicing under the full name of the FN - FAL, this rifle is universally known in this part of the world as the “FN Rifle”, and will be referred to as such hereafter. For those of you who may be wondering, the initials “FAL” stand for Fusil Automatique Legere, meaning Light Automatic Rifle. Those of you who have had occasion to carry its 9+lbs for any length of time may dispute the “light” designation, but next to its squad mate, the MAG machine gun, it is as thistledown in the breeze! During the cold war era, the FN rifle was without doubt the most popular and widely adopted battle rifle among all the non - Eastern bloc countries (with the exception of certain deviants - the U.S. Army rejected it in favour of the domestically designed M-14 rifle. There are those who maintain that the trials were rigged in favour of the domestic product...)

The 35 Whelen in Zimbabwe
Barrie took another sip of coffee, looking at me with a slight smile and said “Well Al, if you want to bring a 7mm Mauser on safari, it’s all right with me. It is a fine cartridge, well thought of and proven in Africa. It is certainly powerful enough for the smaller antelope you want to collect.” (I was thinking of steenbuck, duiker, klipspringer and bushbuck).

The .375 on Elephant
I have personally known five professional hunters who have used a .375 H&H Magnum exclusively throughout their professional hunting careers; two of them professional ivory hunters.

It's All in the Claw
The hunter fired his first shot at the buffalo, resting his arm against the right hand side of a mopane tree for steadiness. At the shot the buffalo took off and the hunter took a quick pace to the left to keep the buff in view, swinging his rifle around the tree. He brought the rifle hurriedly to his shoulder again as the buff changed his mind about flight, and wheeled to charge. The hunter took his time, made sure of his shot and CLICK!!

Solids vs Monometals - Which is best?
The elephant was down, and the hunt had been successful. The place was Chirundu, and we were all at the Rifa education camp for prospective professional hunters and guides.

Stopping Power Revisited
There has been considerable debate in hunting magazines of late on “stopping power” for dangerous game, and “ideal” calibres for elephant and buff. Much of this debate though has centred purely around the professional hunter. No thought has been given to the client, or the “Citizen Hunter”, whose mission in life is something other than swatting large nasty beasties on a regular basis.

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